Google Chrome has unveiled plans for 2017 that will make an attempt to make the Internet a safer place. Starting in late January 2017, Google Chrome’s new security update will flag insecure websites in a more pronounced manner so users are well aware whether they are using a risky site. Here are a few things you should know:

What is the difference between a secure and insecure website?

If a website is secure, it will support a URL that begins with “https://” rather than just “http://.” The extra “s” indicates that the website follows the Security Sockets Layer (SSL) standard, which adds an extra dimension of security. SSL ensures that data is exchanged securely between a web server and a browser by sending an encrypted link from the website to the end user. Websites that fail to employ SSL standards offer less privacy of data for users.

What indicates a secure or SSL website?

Along with the “https://” in the URL, users can tell if a website is secure by the small lock symbol in the far left of the search bar. If the lock is not present or the website does not support an “https://” URL, avoid entering private information in this site.

How will Google Chrome’s 2017 update flag insecure websites?

According to the Google Security Blog, studies have pointed out that the small lock icon does not have that large of an impact among users. In fact, most users rarely even notice the lock. To more blatantly warn users if a website is unsafe, a “not secure” text line will appear in the login box on the website. Eventually, the “not secure” text will transition to be in red lettering and include an exclamation point, just to drive in the point. This is part of Google Chrome’s long-term plan to mark all “http://” sites as insecure.

How does this effect website and business owners?

If you are in charge of a website that does not currently follow SSL guidelines, now is the time to start. In order to avoid Google Chrome drawing attention to your site’s lack of security, you must obtain an SSL Certificate that is sold by Certification Authorities. From there, the Certification Authorities will verify that your request is legitimate and send you an SSL Certificate and Private Key that allows you to implement SSL on your website. Learn more about getting SSL certified.

Have any other questions about the Google Chrome January 2017 changes or getting an SSL installed? Give us a call at 970-419-0602.